Skylights are a great feature because they allow for natural light, provide a unique view of the outdoors, can be stylish, and tend to make your home feel more spacious. In time, however, a repair or replacement is inevitable due to wear and tear.
A question we’ve been asked by South Florida homeowners is: “Should I replace my skylights when reroofing?” The answer, not surprisingly is, “Absolutely!”
Skylight replacement is a smart choice when reroofing for several reasons.
- Damage to the skylight, flashing, or framing often occurs when the old roof is removed. And you don’t want to risk a roof leak due to a seal failure for example.A reputable roofing contractor will recommend replacing skylights at this time. An attempt to salvage skylights to save a few dollars now could very well cost you much more money in the long run.
- It’s more cost-effective to complete both projects at the same time. Did you know that skylight replacement is faster and easier during the reroofing process, and before the roof is shingled or the new roofing material is added? Skylights work with composite asphalt shingles, clay or cement tiles, and metal panels. Having to replace them after the new roofing material is placed will be more work for the skylight installer and may require the roofing contractor to also return for additional roof work. If you choose to keep your old skylights – and they end up needing to be replaced in a few years – you’ll likely end up paying significantly more.
- Warranties are protected. Initially, it will cost less to re-flash an existing skylight, but doing so may void your roofing warranty. Oftentimes roofing contractors will require a waiver stating that they are not responsible for future leaks or damage related to older skylights. Therefore, to protect the new roof’s warranty, bite the bullet and replace the skylight(s) too.
- Your Roof’s Appearance will be Uniform. If your skylight(s) are replaced at a later date, the new shingles or roofing material might not match the existing ones well, resulting in a “patchy” look. Roofing materials fade over time and with the South Florida sun exposure, there’s no avoiding that. Keep a uniform look by completing this project during reroofing.
- The maintenance schedules for your roof and skylight(s) will be in sync. The expected life span of a new roof is an average of 20 to 30 years, depending on the material. Metal roofs typically last anywhere from 30 to 50 years. Skylight life expectancy is similar to materials with a 20-to-30-year life expectancy, so it just makes sense to have your roof and skylight(s) conveniently maintained at the same time, and to have the warranties better aligned.
- New skylight technology can afford you energy savings. In recent years there have been significant advances in skylight design and technology. They’re better sealed and less likely to leak. Newer models are far more energy-efficient than the inexpensive plastic units of the past. Some even include shades or blinds to control lighting levels and vents that allow skylights to be opened and closed remotely. A tighter seal and the option to adjust the lighting lead to energy savings for you. In addition, some newer model skylights can even work with LED smart lighting systems to illuminate living spaces day or night, regardless of the weather.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little bit about skylights and how they’re best to be replaced during your reroofing project. If you’re in the market to reroof your home, be sure you update your skylight(s) too. Again, you’ll likely save yourself money, time, and future hassles by scheduling your reroofing project and skylight replacement at the same time. Remember to always do your research and only work with a credible company for your skylight installation. We’d be happy to recommend a few in your immediate area. By combining our efforts, your roof and skylight(s) will never look better.
Contact our team of South Florida roofing experts today to get your roof project on the calendar for this year! We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Palm Beach: 561-469-7930